With another successful commencement behind us, High Point University seniors have kicked-off prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2019:
Name: Kendra Perley
Hometown: Kernersville, North Carolina
Major: Visual merchandising design
Post-graduation plans: Perley joined Havertys Furniture as an in-home designer. As one of the top furniture retailers in the South and Central United States, Havertys offers a complimentary design service included with purchase to help customers. As the only in-home designer in the Winston-Salem location, Perley’s job is to select and arrange products specifically tailored to each customer’s space, taste and lifestyle using 2D and 3D design programs to make their vision come to life. This involves visiting clients’ homes to ensure proper furniture placement and color coordination, as well as recommending additional furniture and accessories for the room design as needed.
How HPU helped you get there: “Studying at High Point University with a major in visual merchandising design has provided me with a platform of opportunity. Gaining essential knowledge in design and merchandising propelled my interest to begin working in the furniture industry. My design classes in the School of Art and Design prepared me with the skills I needed to establish a solid portfolio and attract potential employers. The small class sizes provided personalized help and support. Playing on the Division I women’s soccer team strengthened my ability to work with other individuals as a team striving toward a common goal. As an athlete, I acquired an understanding of the importance of “team” and what it means to devote oneself to a group cause. The Office of Career and Professional Development at HPU is one of the best resources on campus. When I first utilized their office my freshman year, they helped me create a resume when I did not have any past job experience. They uncovered my personal strengths and weaknesses, and assisted in setting up my LinkedIn profile, cover letters and provided me with general career advice. My career advisor, Kellie McLeod, was a huge help for me. She helped me find my career path and guided me through the interviewing process during my senior year, actively editing my resume and giving interview tips.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “The first mentor I truly connected with at HPU was Hilah Cook, my freshman Success Coach. I knew I was interested in interior design but was not sure what kind of job I was wanting to pursue after college. Hilah took the time to get to know me and discovered that visual merchandising design was the best fit for me. This path led to another mentor, Dr. Victoria Brown, in the School of Art and Design. She was my biggest supporter during my time at HPU, and she was always willing to stay after class to answer any questions I had about assignments, feedback on my projects or talk about life in general.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Take the initiative. Professors at HPU are there to help and support you. After I stepped down from the women’s soccer team at HPU, I pursued every part-time job and internship I felt I could handle at that time. I was hungry to learn more about the industry I was studying, and at one point, I held two part-time jobs and an internship while taking a full course load. It was exhausting, but by my first semester of senior year, the professors in the School of Art and Design nominated me for the IFDA Rising Star Award. The next semester, I was awarded the Haverty Cup presented by Havertys Furniture. Upon graduation, I was offered a full-time position at Havertys. I soon realized all the hard work I had been putting in the past few years had finally paid off.”